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By Chris Thilk | April 29, 2004

I read the Michael Crichton book this is based on a few years ago and was pretty intrigued when I heard it was being made into a movie. That anticipation was built up when I heard Richard Donner was directing. That anticipation was then smashed unrelentingly like waves against rocks when I heard Paul Walker was starring. Oh well, I figured at the time, you take the good you take the bad…

0:01 – And we open up on a sport utility vehicle commercial. That’s disconcerting.

0:03 – Does Billy Connelly’s replacing Howard Hessman on “Head of the Class” rank above or below Byron Cherry and Christopher Mayer’s taking over for Tom Wopat and John Schneider on “Dukes of Hazzard”? How about its placement in regards to Sarah Chalke’s unmentioned subbing for of Lecy Goranson on “Rosanne”? Is the last one more important because they were playing the same character? Anyone still reading?

0:06 – Paul Walker… I don’t even have anything here. I’m going to pretend he’s not even in this movie. Shouldn’t be too hard.

0:09 – I think Walker just drove his motorcycle past an uncompleted piece of scenery. Did the construction crew not know they were filming today?

0:10 – Every line Paul Walker has sounds like it should be delivered while standing on a surfboard.

0:13 – There was about a five minute interval after watching the Anne Heche/Tommy Lee Jones movie “Volcano” when I thought it wasn’t that bad. I can’t tell you what mental synapse wasn’t firing for that period of time, but I soon snapped out of it.

0:15 – Hey, it’s Rusty IV! As bad as “Vegas Vacation” was, I really enjoyed Ethan Embry in “Empire Records”. “We mustn’t dwell… no, not today. We CAN’T. Not on Rex Manning day.”

0:17 – All the characters are walking through a hanger of private airplanes and I think I see Chevy Chase working on one of them. This isn’t a Fletch reference, I just think Chase may need the money.

0:20 – Billy Connelly’s character has gone missing and I’m thinking simply having Paul Walker as a son may have caused this.

0:23 – Neal McDonough just called Walker “dude”. This may be the most realistic line of dialogue the movie has to offer.

0:26 – If this group is being “faxed” back to historic France, aren’t they worried about being taunted by John Cleese? “Now go away before I taunt you a second time.”

0:28 – On the plus side, if there are any problems with the wormhole this teleportation device creates, they can just call in James Spader and Kurt Russell. Wait, wrong movie. Dammit.

0:29 – Why couldn’t the hot chick have been the one who landed in the water. Preferably while wearing a thin-mesh white t-shirt. I don’t ask for much.

0:31 – I’m shocked the ex-Marines sent to protect the group were the first ones killed. Actually, now that I think about it, I’m not shocked at all.

0:34 – One of the English kinigits just shouted “After the French bastard”. Again, I don’t have a joke here, I just love this line.

0:37 – I actually saw “Jewel of the Nile” before I saw “Romancing the Stone”. The main draw to “Jewel” at the time was it featured the Flying Karamazov Brothers, whose HBO special was a childhood mainstay. I realize seeing JotN before RoS means I missed all that important back story, but at the time I didn’t care. Still don’t, to be perfectly honest.

0:41 – Unfortunately, I can’t shake the feeling that if all the characters just walked about a half-mile from where they are they would be back on the highway and away from this awful Renaissance fair.

0:42 – No, the Scotsman hasn’t come to kill the English lord in his bed, just to remind the audience how bad Mike Myers Scottish accent actually is.

0:44 – OK, I’ve really got to get “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” off of my mind. Scenes from it have been running through my head so often in the first 45 minutes of this movie I doubt I’ll remember a single scene or character. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but I’m trying to give it a fair shake.

0:45 – Look! It’s the old man from Scene 24!

0:47 – Paul Walker just keeps moving his head around seemingly randomly. Did the cue card guy move on him? Is someone behind the camera holding something shiny?

0:50 – When my buddy Todd and I came out of “Batman Returns”, we had three thoughts: 1) Michelle Pfieffer should appear solely in skin tight black leather from here on out in her career, 2) Tim Burton loves directing snow, and 3) Michelle Pfieffer should appear solely in skin tight black leather from here on out in her career.

0:51 – Nice thing about Frances O’Conner is she actually looks like a girl an ordinary guy would have a chance with.

0:52 – Neal McDonough seems to really enjoy swinging his sword around. Then again, who doesn’t?

0:53 – Hawkeye was always my favorite character from the Avengers comics. This is back in the day when comics were a fun read and weren’t trying for artistic integrity and gritty storytelling. The shift in tone was what got me out of collecting. Well, that and slowly having less and less disposable income, then a wife and children.

0:55 – All of a sudden the French chick speaks English? Did the filmmakers just decide they didn’t want to pay for the subtitles? Or were they afraid of someone trying to muck with the subtitles to plug the tourist appeal of Sweden and the majestic moose?

0:57 – Can we all agree that the bottom fell out of the He-Man: Masters of the Universe franchise after the Teela movie?

0:58 – Don’t quite know why, but I can’t get the thought of the Teacup ride at Disney World out of my head right now. This may require surgery.

Time for an intermission. Get the rest in part two of MOVIES ON THE BRAIN: “TIMELINE”>>>

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